Tree House Lodge, Tanzania, Africa
Just offshore of mainland Tanzania are a group of islands that take you back in time and where this award winning jungle retreat resides at the northern most tip of the tiny island of Chole Mjini in the largest marine park in East Africa. Designed and entirely hand built by the owners and local craftsmen, it’s a castaway fantasy, appealing to those who appreciate a return to simple luxuries that reawaken the senses. Settled as early as the 16th century, the island was an important trading post up until the 19th century, with the fascinating ruins of the old town dotted throughout the lodge’s gardens and small port area.
Comprised of a total of six independent open air treehouse and a main lodge with a restaurant lounge and bar, each are nestled into the giant baobab trees with views of the sea. Selected as the winner of the 2014 World Responsible Tourism Award; Best in Beach category, your stay helps educate the population of the island, and helps conserve the cultural heritage along with diversifying the local economy away from natural resource exploitation.
Peaceful and a little wild, the area receives little tourism and is one of the last unspoiled areas of the region. Built to be entirely eco-friendly, the compound is solar powered and without electricity-just the sweet charm of lanterns, candlelight and a refreshing absence of technology.
The handmade thatched roof structures are furnished and decorated with a mix of traditional African and Arabian decor and antiques that exemplify the simple Swahili style.
You’ll be fed completely fresh local cuisine daily and enjoy the intimacy of dining under the stars and gathering with guests at the rooftop bar and lounge. The lodge has a number of dhows for excursions and diving and you are encouraged to relax and explore.
Changing as little as possible of the land, the lifestyle and the heart of the island, this lodge will change you.
Completely off grid except for generated electricity in the main office for charging electronics. All meals are supplied daily. Housekeeping and laundry services available. Book library. Island transfers.
The Mafia island archipelago is small and intimate with some of the best diving along the eastern coast of Africa where you can experience the most amazing seasonal whale shark watching along with stunning coral reefs, and marine life. The village of Chole Mjini is friendly, unspoiled and worth a visit to experience local culture. The rest of the island is forested and lush with colonial ruins that are interesting to explore. Venture out to the neighboring island of Juani with it’s 13th century medieval ruins at Kua, and explore the tropical forests and hidden inland pools.
Mafia island, Tanzania. Nearest Airport: Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar (1 hr), then a 45 minute drive to Utende Beach. From there it is a short 15 minute boat ride across Chole Bay to Chole Mjini